As we prepare to celebrate The Fatima Centennial at St. Joseph the Worker thru November 26, 2017, it helps for us to have a little background, and so for the next few months we will be getting to know our Lady of Fatima with some historical background and stories compiled by Fr. Joseph Previtali, a priest from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and Adjunct Instructor of Dogmatics, St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park.
PART XXI: THE QUEEN OF PEACE DID NOT LONG DELAY her August visit to the children. On Sunday, August 19, Lucia and Francisco were pasturing their sheep around 4:00 in the afternoon. Jacinta was not with them. At that moment, Lucia saw the preparatory signs of the apparition and begged her brother, John, to go fetch Jacinta. She even paid him a few pennies for the errand after he initially refused. As Francisco and she waited for Jacinta, they saw the characteristic light descend this time upon a little bush. They were in the place where twice they had received the visit from the Angel of Peace the previous year. At the moment Jacinta arrived, Our Lady appeared. Lucia greeted her with her customary obedient humility:
"What do you want of me?"
"Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
"What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?"
"I want you to have two ardors (platforms for the carrying of statues in procession) made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here."
We see here how Our Lady approves of and loves public processions and devotions in her honor. Having received these instructions, Lucia then asked for the cure of some sick people. "Some I will cure during the year."
Then Our Lady looked sadly at them, encouraging them in their vocation as victim souls: "Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice."
We see here how the salvation of many people depends on our personal fidelity to grace. Our Lady departed from the children, then, in her usual manner, towards the east. The children brought home branches from the bush upon which Our Lady had appeared.
Manuel Marto always remembered the beautiful odor emanating from those branches, calling it "magnificent." Even Lucia's unbelieving mother could not deny the beauty of the odor of sanctity contained by the branches.
Several days later, the children found a large rough rope in the lone street in Aljustrel. They cut pieces of the rope to wear around their waists, against the skin, to offer the discomfort as a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, as Our Lady had urged them to do.
A week earlier, on August 12, one day before Our Lady appeared without welcome at the Cova, Pope Benedict XV had sent a peace proposal, with a detailed and specific plan for a gradual end to the war, to all of the warring powers. It was met with unqualified approval only by Emperor Charles and King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. The other powers received the proposal, in the words of Warren Carroll, "as Arturo da Oliveira Santos had handled the Fatima children: questioned, locked up, threatened, and finally dismissed with contempt."
The insane, diabolical war went on. One wonders how many of the souls of the dying soldiers were saved at the last moment by divine grace through the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, due to the sufferings of three little shepherd children of Fatima.
Next Week: Part XXI of the fascinating story and history of Our Lady of Fatima.
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Bishop Michael Barber has appointed newly ordained transitional Deacon Arturo Bazan to St. Joseph the Worker to be with our parish community in order to gain additional ministerial and pastoral experiences during his last year of priestly formation at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California. Deacon Bazan will be with us mostly on Sunday's and for other important events such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc., thru May 2018, when he is then scheduled to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Oakland.
Photo from Catholic Voice
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